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Posts Tagged ‘andy murray’

“A Bit More Emo.”

Posted by gauloises1 on March 18, 2011

The transcendentally excellent sketch featuring Andy Murray and the cast of Outnumbered for Comic Relief:

I genuinely love this, not just because Muzz has successfully graduated from the Dan Radcliffe School of Acting and is merely Harry Potter bad as opposed to unbelievably bad, but because of Dad’s final comment: “He was a bit standoffish, wasn’t he?” Because you just know that is Andy’s daily experience; being incredibly nice and gracious to people’s requests and still getting condemned for being, well, him. It’s funny because it’s true.

And I hate saying this because I sound like a horrible TV presenter but … ifyouenjoyedthissketchpleasepleasedonatetoComicRelief. Thanks.

Posted in andy murray, video | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

Indian Wells: So, We’re Doing This Again? OK.

Posted by gauloises1 on March 13, 2011

Donald Young d. (5) Andy Murray, 76(4) 63

So … the traditional Murray post-Australian Open demoralising finals loss slump is on again, then.

I must confess I didn’t watch this one (too occupied with JMDP). I hear that Donald Young played out of his skin, but there’s no way that a Murray on any kind of form loses to a player who last won consecutive ATP matches at this event in 2008. It’s unacceptable and if it he doesn’t snap out of it sharpish, there will be trouble.

So congratulations to Donald Young, and on to Miami …

Posted in andy murray, donald young, indian wells | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

You and Me Could Have a Sad Bromance.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 31, 2011

Q. Did you speak English back when you were 11? Could you talk to him?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I had it in school so already I knew some basic things. Back then, yeah, we were speaking kind of more with the signs, you know, hands and legs and stuff (smiling). He was using more of a Scottish accent, so he was really hard to understand.

Q. You also played doubles with him.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He had the hair (laughter).

[…] Q. Now is it hard to balance the friendship and the professional rivalry or do you achieve that?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I sent him a message yesterday after his semifinal saying like, Perth final, because we practiced in Perth a couple times this year. We had fun. We played football there. He won, unfortunately.

It’s fun. It’s been a fun couple of weeks. I think we, as well, reconnected a little bit with the friendship in the last 12 months.

Well, we have to forget about all that when we step on the court. It’s all business. I’m sure he’s going to be very eager to win a first Grand Slam title.

source

“I was letting it [our friendship] go in the last few months and allowing Andy to feel what he wants to feel about our relationship, as friends,” Djokovic said. “If he thinks we should be friends regularly and hang out more or not.”

“That was more or less on him to decide because I always liked him as a person. We grew up together playing junior events, we knew each other really well and had a lot of fun.

“But then we basically came up to the top of tennis at the same time and were rivals. At some stage we were playing a lot of matches against each other and now we haven’t played for a long time.

“Right now I feel we are getting closer because we grew up and this period of three, four years being at the top of men’s tennis has kind of passed and now we know that OK, we are rivals, that’s obvious. But off the court it doesn’t mean that we can’t have dinner or play golf or things like that.

“I definitely wish him to have it [a first grand-slam title] because I think he deserves it. He has all he needs to have in order to be a champion.”

source

Rah, rah, uncontrollable weeping.

Posted in andy murray, australian open, novak djokovic | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Coming Of Age.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 31, 2011

I remember a few years ago arguing with a Fedal-loving friend about Novak Djokovic. She cited the usual arguments: he’s cocky; his parents are awful; he disrespects his opponents by impersonating them; he retires too much; he’s too desperate to be liked. I pointed out that those things were even at the time too outmoded to be used as evidence, and added that the process of Djokovic growing up, adjusting to his status and learning to own it, and dealing with his own fluctuating confidence was reason enough to want to watch him. She said that not being a child psychologist, she had no interest in seeing him grow up. Fine, I said. But I do.

2011 Australian Open men’s singles champion.

“Me?”

Yes, you.

Novak Djokovic is the champion in Melbourne for a second time, but there’s no illusion of coming full circle. He’s three years older, immeasurably wiser, and a much, much better player. And we all had a chance to see him without his hair for a bit, so now we’re able to fully appreciate it. This story could not be better.

Like a kitten, I tell you.

OK, it could have been better. It would have been, well, nicer for me if his great win didn’t come at the expense of Andy Murray once again falling at the final hurdle, by which we mean looking basically like a chump in a Slam final. I’m so not in the mood to participate in the what’s-wrong-with-Andy-Murray game right now, partly because I don’t think that he showed us anything different in this final to the ones he’s played before; the difference is that it was Djokovic across the net, not Federer, so the disappointment is that much greater apparently. And that’s a point of view that’s not only vaguely disrespectful but totally blind to the player that Djokovic has become over the past six months.

Murray was lame at times, flat at others, and just not there in the way he needed to be. But the disappointment of the last two sets overshadows the brilliance of the first nine games when it looked like it was going to be a fantastic contest, and the main reason that it wasn’t lies in the fact that once Djokovic had the first set in the bag, he simply ran away with the match. Every time Murray did have an opportunity to get back into the match, Djokovic snuffed it out with that pummeling forehand and brilliant defending. Murray will have his moment, but this wasn’t it.

This moment belonged to Djokovic. I didn’t have a chance to talk about Djokovic’s victory over Federer – remarkably stupid scheduling decisions on my part, sorry – but ever since last year’s US Open, he’s looked a different player. Not back to his old self, but a new and better player, with an improved forehand, a smarter tactical sense, and a confidence that seemed rooted deeper and hence less likely to be peeled away by success or the lack of it. After all the losses, heartbreaking and lacklustre alike, his health problems and what looked like an inability to draw a clear line between his life off court and what happened on it, he’s come out of the other side a new man and a better player. And we all got to watch it happen. Tennis is great.

Djokovic has always talked a good game, but I can’t have been the only person impressed by his conduct on Sunday, both on the court and in his press conference. He was poised and mature, looking every inch the champion from the moment he first set foot on Rod Laver; his celebrations were muted, in line with the match; and his victory speech, in which he dedicated the victory to Serbia and took the time to acknowledge the Australian flood victims, was moving.

Q. You took a tough loss here last year, Roland Garros obviously, and then even Wimbledon. Did something happen in between Wimbledon and the hard courts where you regained confidence?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Something switched in my head, because I am very emotional on and off the court. I show my emotions. This is the way I am. Everybody’s different.

The things off court were not working for me, you know. It reflected on my game, on my professional tennis career. But then, you know, I settled some things in my head. It was all on me. You know, I had to try to find the best possible solution and try to get back on the right track. That’s what I did.

Q. Can you talk about some of those secrets that you discovered about yourself that helped you get back on track?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, you know, something switched in my head. It’s been a big mental struggle, because I was trying to separate my, of course, professional life from my more private life.

But, you know, if somebody’s emotional we’re all humans. It’s not possible. If something isn’t working off court, then it’s going to reflect on the court. I managed to solve that problems.

This is all part of life. Of course, everybody’s facing difficult situations in their lives. To overcome the crisis and to stand up and try to still dedicate yourself to the sport was a big success for me as a person.

source

Developing as a person and a tennis player doesn’t always happen at a constant rate or go in a positive direction, and you only have to look at Andy Murray to know that that’s true. I’m not saying Djokovic is suddenly a saint or is going to be winning everything from now on. He’s just a man, albeit more a man than ever. But right now – for now – he’s absolutely at the peak of the tennis world. And he looks so good there. I hope it lasts.

 

Posted in andy murray, australian open, novak djokovic, titlists | Tagged: , | 14 Comments »

Rafa Slammed.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 26, 2011

Or: I owe Ferru and possibly Slams an apology.

David Ferrer d. Rafael Nadal, 64 62 63

I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be eating my shoes or my hat or my feet right now, but along with many of you, this was not the result I expected to wake up to after staying up late to catch Murray-Dolgopolov and assuming I could get my shuteye in during a routine Nadal win. Even when I got woken up by a text message saying “I’m really frightened for Murray now!”, I assumed the sender meant that Nadal had performed more terrifyingly than usual, and decided to snore some more. Once I finally woke up and saw the result, I decided to watch the match back to see what exactly happened.

I watched it and came to the following conclusion: well done Ferru. And well done Nadal.

As you have no doubt heard by now, Nadal was undoubtedly injured. I couldn’t see exactly what happened, but something happened to his left leg in the second game (clarified later as a muscle tear), and although he managed to regain the service break he’d lost, he called the trainer immediately. As he left the court for evaluation, he looked over to his box, raised his eyebrows, and shook his head. Serious, his face said. And Nadal can say more with his face than just about anyone.

From that point on, his movement was clearly somewhat compromised and the match was there to be taken. That’s not to downplay the achievement of David Ferrer, who played about as well as I’ve seen him. Put the vast majority of players on court with a Nadal who can still run, and still hit, and wants this win about as much as he’s ever wanted anything, and there’s a pretty good chance that Nadal will manage to gut it out. Ferrer shut his friend’s predicament out of his mind and shut Nadal ruthlessly out of the match, then paid tribute to him as a gentleman and a friend. It was about as impressive a display of tennis and sportsmanship as I’ve ever seen, a rare combination of competitive intensity and grace, and a second Slam semi-final is a just reward.

Also, he’s hot.

A clearly crushed Nadal refused to discuss the extent of his injury in his presser:

I had a problem during the match, in the very beginning. […] After that, the match was almost over. So that’s what I can say. But you know what, for me is difficult come here and speak about. In Doha I wasn’t healthy. Today I have another problem. Seems like I always have problems when I lose, and I don’t want to have this image, no? I prefer don’t talk about that today. If you can respect that, will be a very nice thing for me. Thank you.

source

Of course, as Jon Wertheim puts it, “he can take the high road, but we can’t.” The speculation over the extent of Nadal’s injury and its possible effects is likely to rage for some time and unfortunately tends to overshadow Ferrer’s win. But the encouraging thing for Nadal fans is that … well … it’s not the knees. It’s not tendonitis, it’s not chronic. It’s really unfortunate, but if there’s anybody that can take this on the chin and come back, it’s Nadal. He’s done it before.

Ferrer meanwhile will play Andy Murray in the semifinals after Muzz beat Dolgopolov in a scrappy four-set performance. In the interests of not jinxing or giving myself a stress-induced heart-attack, I’m just going to sort of pretend Murray doesn’t exist for now. OK?

Pleasepleasewinthisthingohgodyouwon’tbutpleasepleasedo.

Posted in andy murray, australian open, david ferrer, rafael nadal | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

The Big Yin & The Little Ukrainian.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 24, 2011

And in ‘matches few saw coming’, Andy Murray will face Alexandr Dolgopolov in the quarter-finals after the latter upset Robin Soderling in five sets.

This may have been the first year that Soderling made it past the second round in Melbourne, but it was still a fantastic match from Dolgopolov, who after a slow start never really looked like losing. More than anything, it was his sheer lightning speed around the court that did for Soderling, who looked slow and lumbering against Dolgopolov’s brilliant retrieving. He defended everything and consistently put Soderling in uncomfortable positions, drawing the error or stinging the Swede with his backhand down the line.

Soderling was visibly frustrated on the court, and wasn’t playing his best, although in this kind of match it’s hard to tell how much comes from the irritatingly brilliant defense down the other end of the court and how much it just wasn’t his day. My theory, for what it’s worth, is that he misses Magnus. Would he have lost if he had that calming, handsome presence benevolently smiling and occasionally nodding at him from his box?

R.I.P. true love.

Not to take anything away from Dolgopolov. The lost Bondarenko brother’s blend of patient aggression and ability to hit winners on the run is very reminiscent of Andy Murray, in fact, so it could be an interesting match in the quarters. Nobody counterpunches better than Murray, though, so I’m betting that Dolgopolov’s shining run of wins against big hitters will come to an end in the next round. Well … I’m hoping. Murray was totally dominant in a 63 61 61 victory over Jurgen Melzer, although I think the support of a certain Billy Connolly may have had something to do with it.

Who could lose with this in their box?!

I just wanted to use these photos.

Posted in alexandr dolgopolov, andy murray, australian open, magnus norman, robin soderling | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

“Training Bloc”.

Posted by gauloises1 on July 20, 2010

… I’m sorry, I want to be on this holiday.

Posted in andy murray | Tagged: , | 13 Comments »

“Disappointed.”

Posted by gauloises1 on July 3, 2010

Q. Your thoughts on that?

ANDY MURRAY: Disappointed. You know, I had chances in all of the sets. You know, I haven’t seen the stats, but I would guess it was the difference of maybe five or six points in the match.

Yeah, he just played better than me. But I’m disappointed because I had chances.

Q. Did you feel you got into the rhythm of your own game during the match?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah. But, I mean, you’re not going to be able to play every single point on your terms against the best player in the world, one of the best players ever. You can’t.

You know, you’re going to need to, you know, go through periods in the match where he can be dictating, and there’s periods in the match where, you know, I was dictating.

You know, it was tough. But, yeah, I didn’t feel like I wasn’t in a rhythm. I won a lot of points off my serve. You know, until the end of the match, he didn’t have a breakpoint until the last couple of games. Was obviously doing something right.

Q. When he hit that the double‑fault in the tiebreaker, I mean, it as a bit of a shocker. Did it throw you off?

ANDY MURRAY: No, not at all. I mean, not if you look at the next point he played. No, it didn’t at all. He played a really good point. He hit a big forehand. Hit a good pass. He hit a great angle volley on the next point. Hit a let cord passing shot on the next one.

You know, there’s nothing you can do about it.

Q. With all that was at stake today, how does this compare to what could have been for you in this tournament?

ANDY MURRAY: I’m annoyed I lost this match. There’s a great player in the final, and the other half has just beaten the No. 1 player ‑‑ No. 2 in the world and No. 3 in the world in back‑to‑back matches pretty convincingly, as well.

I’m disappointed I didn’t win today, because I wanted to reach my first final here.

Q. What was the game plan against him?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, you know, to serve well, which I did for a majority of the match. And when you get the opportunity, to dictate the points.

You know, the one thing I didn’t do particularly well today was return well. His serve is a lot harder to return than a lot of people think. A lot of slice, a lot of spin, and it’s heavy.

I didn’t return particularly well, but the rest of my game was good.

Q. Was it also about targeting his backhand particularly?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, his backhand is good. He has a very good backhand. You know, his backhand’s good. His serve’s good. His forehand’s good. His movement is good. He does everything really, really well.

You know, there’s certain shots that, you know, you need to play to both sides, you know, to not let him get into a rhythm.

You know, like I say, I got myself in some good positions, and just couldn’t quite take it.

Q. Nadal played a stunning match. Is that any consolation now, or will it become one in the future?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, I’m not coming here feeling like I played terrible. You know, I’m disappointed to have lost. You know, I didn’t play a bad match at all. You know, I’ve had some good wins against Rafa where I played great tennis.

You know, it’s not like I played badly. Yeah, he played great, and that was the difference.

Q. Is that the best he’s ever played against you?

ANDY MURRAY: I have no idea. I mean, you know, a lot can depend on a few points. You know, but he’s playing very, very well. He’s obviously got a lot of confidence just now.

Q. Who do you pick in the final, Rafael or Berdych?

ANDY MURRAY: I think Rafa is the favorite. You know, he’s the best player in the world. He hasn’t lost here. He’s played three finals in a row, or four finals in a row now.

But, you know, Berdych is a great player, too. If he plays well, like he has been the last couple of matches, it will be very tough.

Q. Talk about the extra weight on your shoulders because of trying to win it for the home team here.

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, there’s a lot much pressure playing here. You know, it doesn’t affect the outcome of the matches. It’s not a valid excuse to make. I’ve played really well the whole tournament. I obviously want to win for myself. I want to win for the guys I work with. I want to win for, you know, the UK.

You know, a little bit more disappointing than other Grand Slams because this one is, you know, the biggest one of the year for me. And, uhm, yeah, it’s tough.

Q. What are you going to do now?

ANDY MURRAY: I have no idea. I’ll probably, yeah, go on holiday and stay away from the tennis court for a while.

Q. When you look back at tennis tournaments as a whole, are you pleased taking this result out of it, that you’re improving, heading in the right direction?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, a few weeks ago no one would have given me much of a hope of getting to the semis because I wasn’t playing well. Then, you know, I played a good tournament.

But, yeah, right now I’m very disappointed at the match today. Yeah, I’ll look back at the tournament as a whole in a few weeks as a good one, just not great.

Q. Does it strengthen your result to one day come back and win a slam, or does it spur you on in moments like this?

ANDY MURRAY: I hope it does. In the past it has made me work harder. But, yeah, I’ll have to wait and see. But I hope so.

Q. After the Australian you found it difficult to sort of get back into it straightaway. Are you concerned it might happen again after this result?

ANDY MURRAY: I have no idea. You know, just because it happened to me once, whether it was to do with the loss in Australia, whether it was, you know, other things going on, you know, you never know.

But, you know, I work hard, you know, and I hope it doesn’t happen again. I’ve normally played well in the American hard court stretch after Wimbledon. Yeah, hopefully I’ll play well again now.

Q. In what ways, if any, has Nadal changed his game since you played him in Australia?

ANDY MURRAY: No, there’s no huge change. I mean, you know, he obviously missed a solid chunk of the year last year and a little bit at the beginning of this year. You know, he plays ‑‑ the more matches he plays, the better he plays.

I don’t know, you know, if he hasn’t played a lot, you know, he makes a few more mistakes maybe. But, no. He was playing great in Australia. He’s playing great here. He’s one of the greatest players ever, so he’s always gonna play well.

Q. Is there a frustration factor out there when you play a lot of really good tennis and somehow it just keeps coming back?

ANDY MURRAY: No, ’cause you go on the court expecting it. It’s not a surprise. You know, I’ve always felt like, for me, it’s been one of the best parts of my game is making my opponent play more balls, chasing everything down. It’s just something that all of the, you know, best players tend to do. They’ll make you play a lot of balls.

No, I played him, I don’t know, over 10 times now, so nothing surprises me when I play against him. But I expect an incredibly tough match every time.

Q. I know you’ve only just come off court, but where does this one sit with your other disappointments?

ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. I’m very disappointed just now. I’m upset, you know, which is understandable. I have no idea. Yeah, just very disappointed.

Q. You’re good at opening up the court, playing far back. Is that a particularly tough strategy to pursue with him, given his skill set athletically?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, it has worked in matches I’ve played against him. It’s worked very well. I’ve had some great matches with him. I’ve had obviously some tough losses, as well.

But, no, I mean, I think that, you know, I have my game style. I adapt to all of the guys that I play against. I’m sure the stats will say I came to the net more than I did in any of the other matches; I served and volleyed more than I did in any of the other matches; I was going for a little bit more.

That’s how you have to play against him. Just didn’t quite work.

Q. You again had great support today from fans who will be looking forward to you coming back next year. What will you say to them?

ANDY MURRAY: No, the support was great the whole tournament. Every year I’ve played here the support’s been great, yeah. Yeah, I’m disappointed for them, as well. You know, I obviously gave it my best.

But like I said earlier, I want to try and win the tournament. Yeah, I couldn’t quite do it. But the support I’ve had, you know, the whole two weeks has been great.

Q. You had a couple of conversations with the chair. Were you unhappy about the time he was taking?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I wasn’t unhappy with the time he was taking. I asked him once when we were changing balls, and that was it. I didn’t complain once about him taking too much time.

Q. What did Rafael say to you after the match?

ANDY MURRAY: He said, Bad luck. I just said, Good luck for the rest of the tournament. You know, that was it.

But, you know, I’ve said it for a few years. I love watching him play. He’s my favorite player to watch. That’s why I enjoy playing him so much. So I hope he wins.

Q. If you could somehow go back and change one thing about the match, what would that be?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, I think the second set, you know, it’s difficult to pick out one thing. I had chances in the second set. I thought I played a little bit better tennis in the second set and didn’t give him many chances on my serve. I created a few on his. Obviously, in the tiebreak, yeah.

Q. Is it annoying to have to wait so long to receive serve?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I don’t care. He can take as long as he wants on any point. I love watching the guy play. No, I don’t care. He can take as long as he wants.

Q. Coming off court, Rafa said he thought you’d win a slam and win one soon. What does that mean to you when someone you respect so much has got some faith in your ability?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, yeah, it’s nice. Nice obviously to hear. Uhm, doesn’t make losing in one any easier.

Posted in andy murray, wimbledon | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Wimbledon Day 11: Not Enough

Posted by gauloises1 on July 3, 2010

Rafael Nadal d. Andy Murray, 64 76(6) 64

OK, let me get this out of the way: Rafa was incredible. Irresistible, indomitable … you know what, pick your own superlative and I’ll sign off on it. He deserves all of them. I may be lacking a lot of things (the ability to muster any attempt at graciousness right now, for example), but respect for Rafa is not one of them. He was [insert superlative], a true [insert noun], and demonstrated once again that his [insert superlative and noun] and [insert superlative and noun] are second to none.

Oh look.

It’s just that for me, Rafa being [insert superlative] is not … inspiring me right now. A flaw in me, no doubt, but we all know Rafa is both a magnificent player and an astounding competitor. It’s not a revelation. It’s not new. It’s yet another chapter in an unfolding tale of [insert superlative]. For me, it’s not the story. The story is where Murray came up short.

In case there was any doubt I’m British, that should have removed it.

Because Andy played well. He played really well. That’s just one of the many beautiful dimensions to this particular loss. He was in the points, in the games, threatening Rafa’s serve. He had break points in the first set, set points in the second set tiebreak, and led 4-2 in the third set. And what happened? Tame netted returns on second serves. Idiotic shot selection. Wild unforced forehand errors. Working brilliantly and courageously to earn himself an open court – and I don’t need to underline how hard that is to do against Rafa, do I? – and then time and again netting or going out when all he had to do was put it away.

I haven’t read much about this match yet (what do I need, ulcers?) but I gather the prevailing narrative is comprised primarily of (a) Rafa is [insert superlative] and (b) Murray was too passive. Well, that’s not what I saw. I thought Andy’s game plan was absolutely fine and would have been very effective. It was his execution that was the problem. Clearly, part of the credit for that goes to Rafa for being so damn [insert superlative] that his opponent feels he has to hit a perfect shot in order to win the point. Equally clearly, part of the blame goes to Andy. It isn’t as if he doesn’t have the experience, either of playing Nadal in Slams or being in a Wimbledon semi-final. And it certainly isn’t that he doesn’t have the ability.

What he didn’t have was what was required, or quite enough of what was required. Whatever you want to call it – heart, guts, balls, courage. The winner’s mentality. Whatever it was, he didn’t have it. And so the fact remains that he was close in every respect to Rafa (91 points to 98, if that helps). But he still lost in straight sets. Which rather raises the question of what the fucking point was, exactly.

Would it have been easier if Rafa had steamrolled Andy and been unquestionably superior from first to last? Possibly. The grass is always greener (although in fairness, the grass has almost always been greener than it is this year). I do feel that that possibility might have held out more hope for the future. It’s not unknown, after all, for a player to go from being double-bagelled in the quarterfinals of a Slam to beating that same opponent in five sets in a different Slam barely nine months later. A bad day can become a good day. But when a good day, a very good day, is still not enough – not nearly enough – and the responsibility lies primarily at your door, precisely what hope is there?

No, I’m really asking.

 [insert expletive]

 

Posted in andy murray, rafael nadal, wimbledon | Tagged: , | 11 Comments »

Wimbledon Day 9: Reactions

Posted by gauloises1 on July 1, 2010

Something truly shocking was said in the press conference room at Wimbledon today, people. I’m not going to judge, I’m just going to present the quote to you so that you can make up your own minds.

Q. Are you a hundred percent fit going into the semifinals?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes.

No, seriously. I did find some of the things said here and there quite interesting today.

There was an understandably difficult presser from Federer:

Q. Difficult moment, but what couldn’t you do that you wanted to do? What let you down?

ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, well, I mean, I don’t think I played poorly. But, uhm, I think he went after it. I mean, I know Berdych. I think I’ve played him 10 times already before. That’s the way he plays, you know.

I think he’s been able to play more consistent last year or so, and I was just not able to defend well enough and I didn’t come up with the good stuff when I had to. So it was disappointing, you know. Yeah.

Q. You beat him almost every time you played him. Was he any different?

ROGER FEDERER: Like I said, I think he was a bit more consistent than in the past. I lost to him in Miami this year, where it was a really tight match as well.

But from my end, obviously, you know, I’m unhappy with the way I’m playing. I couldn’t play the way I wanted to play. You know, I am struggling with a little bit of a back and a leg issue. That just doesn’t quite allow me to play the way I would like to play.

So it’s frustrating, to say the least. Looking forward to some rest anyway.

Q. How do those physical things affect you the most?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, when you’re hurting, it’s just a combination of many things. You know, you just don’t feel as comfortable. You can’t concentrate on each and every point because you do feel the pain sometimes. And, uhm, yeah, then you tend to play differently than the way you want to play.

Under the circumstances I think I played a decent match, you know. But I’ve been feeling bad for the last two, three matches now. It’s just not good and healthy to play under these kind of conditions, you know.

So if there’s anything good about this it’s I’m gonna get some rest, that’s for sure.

Q. Some of these big, flat hitters seem to be having an effect on you. Do you need to alter your game to adjust to that?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, if I’m healthy I can handle those guys, you know. Obviously it’s a pity that Del Potro is not around, because I think he would have a run at world No. 1 or a run at another Grand Slam. It’s unfortunate for him.

But, you know, he’s been playing well, and these guys do play very well. I played these guys 10 times. They’re not going to reinvent themselves in a year, you know.

But I’m definitely struggling at the moment. That’s a bit disappointing.

Q. When did you first start feeling the problems?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, the leg came in the finals of Halle. That kind of never really quite got away from me. Came back a little bit after the first‑round match, and then went away again and just kept creeping back sometimes during the matches.

The back’s been feeling stiff the last five days, six days really badly. Also in the finals of Halle. It’s just something that’s been lingering on the grass. It’s normal that the back tends to get stiff, you know, in the grass court season because you have to, uhm, go for many more lower shots.

I’ve had that for many years. I think many players have it. But it’s not just not nice when it doesn’t go away and you can’t play freely. That’s what I was missing today.

Q. Did it affect your level of motivation or anxiety about the match before the match or in the early stages of the match?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it wasn’t that bad, like that I was just hoping to get to the finish line. I mean, once I enter the court, I am there to battle and to try to win with what I got. You know, otherwise I’m not going to walk on the court like I did once in my life prior in Bercy against Blake.

But it’s nowhere close to being that bad. It’s just uncomfortable. Yeah, like I said, you can’t play freely. When you can’t play freely, that’s the kind of performance you get.

[…] Q. Will this make you hungrier to make you come back and show you can lift this title again?

ROGER FEDERER: Sure. God, I can’t wait for Paris and Wimbledon to come around next year again, that’s for sure. So, uhm, because they’ve been frustrating tournaments for me, even though it wasn’t too bad.

Quarters is a decent result. Obviously people think quarters is shocking, but people would die to play in quarterfinal stages of Grand Slam play. It’s not something I’m used to doing, losing in quarterfinals, because it’s not something I’ve done in the last six years.

So I am winning my matches. Today was a different story than Paris. I mean, I think in Paris conditions were tough. Robin played fantastic. Today was different. You know, I was struggling with my own game and with my physique.

Yeah, I’m looking forward to a rest, and then attack again in North America.

source

Then there was Berdych’s reaction:

Q. With your game, we’ve been expecting big results for a while. What’s changed in the last couple of tournaments that you’ve been able to pull off these kind of wins?

TOMAS BERDYCH: Yeah, I think, you know, it’s many things. First of all, it’s that you win a couple of matches in the beginning of the year, and then you get a confidence. It keeps going and going.

I mean, it’s not only like about last two weeks. It’s already start I would say maybe, I don’t know, in the United States, Indian Wells, Miami. So it’s quite far ago.

You know, it’s many things. You get more and more experience. I get, you know, a little bit older to be, you know, more focused, you know, mentally stronger than before. That’s what you need.

But it’s many things together, so I’m very happy that it works. They are all together like in one pack. It works pretty well.

[…] Q. Roger said he had some physical problems; that his back and leg were bothering him. What did you notice and what is your reaction to him saying that?

TOMAS BERDYCH: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know if he just looking for some excuses after the match or something like that. I mean, it happened to all of us. You know, I think he’s been every time when he played, he was I think hundred percent ready.

So maybe right now he’s getting some more troubles with the health. But, you know, I think it just happen today. So I didn’t know that. I just heard it first time like you said it right now. So, yeah, just to him hope that he’s gonna get back soon and that’s it what I can just wish him.

Q. He also said he was unlucky and that he definitely gave the match away. What are your thoughts about that? […] He was saying generally or on big points.

TOMAS BERDYCH: Okay. I mean, yeah, maybe you can take it for both ways. You can say that he was unlucky or you can say that maybe the opponent was a little bit better and he just won the big points against him. In his position, then he lost the match.

You know, I think, yeah, he’s a great player. I mean, but still, I mean, when I just read some newspapers in the morning, I was not surprised, but, you know, to heard something from him to the way that he’s fine, nothing is bothering him. When we played the last match, I lost. But last time in Wimbledon, I won pretty easily. You know, stuff like that.

You know, I saw him quite first time from him the reactions like that. So whatever. I’m in different position. I’m just enjoying the win today, and this is just everything behind me.

source

Andy Murray displayed his renowned ability to find the bright side in everything:

Q. What did you make of Federer’s shock defeat? Given he’s beaten you in your two Grand Slam finals, do you feel his exit has improved your chances?

ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know if it’s improved my chance or not. You never know what’s going to happen on any given day in this sport.

But, yeah, it was surprising. But, you know, Berdych is a great player. You know, if he plays his best tennis, he can, yeah, beat the best guys. He’s won against Rafa a few times; he’s obviously beaten Roger a couple of times now; and I obviously lost to him at the French Open a few weeks ago.

You know, doesn’t look like such a terrible result anymore.

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And let us in to some secrets regarding the requisite tactics against Nadal:

Q. What are your thoughts on the keys to playing well against Nadal?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, you need to serve well and you need to play great tennis. It’s not, you know ‑‑ there’s not one way to play against him. You don’t want to leave the ball in the middle of the court to his forehand, because you’ll do a lot of running.

But you’ve got to serve well and, you know, try and, you know, keep a good length and play well really, really, really well.

Amazing that no-one’s ever thought to play really, really, really well against Rafa.

It was left to Rafa himself along with Nole to be the voices of reason:

Q. When did you find out that Berdych had beaten Roger and what was your reaction?

RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, for sure was a difficult match before, before the match start. You know when you play against these kind of players, like Soderling, like Berdych, they have a very good serve and very powerful shots from the baseline. It’s very difficult sometimes to stop these player, no?

Roger did amazing the last seven years here, so someday must happen this. Happen today. Well, sorry for him, and wish him the best of luck for the rest of the season.

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Q. Are you really surprised that Berdych beat Federer today?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, I mean, Federer is the best player that ever played this game. And still to be able to play this way after he has won so many Grand Slams is just great. I mean, you have to give him credit for everything he has done.

So it’s normal for him to lose. I mean, you guys, you know, you think he shouldn’t lose at all? I mean, you have to congratulate to Berdych for playing that well.

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Jo, meanwhile, was focussed on charming the pants off everyone:

Q. Everyone in England will get excited about Murray maybe winning Wimbledon. How do you rate his chances?

JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, I hope is gonna be him. I told him, you know, at the net, Make me a pleasure; go all the way, you know.

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And Roger had the last word with what is one of the most enjoyable pieces of sarcasm I’ve observed in quite a long time:

Q. I wonder if you think this might be his year, given some of the really threatening players haven’t been doing so well this year.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, true, Rafa played terribly lately; Soderling is not a threat either. He’s got an easy ride to this victory, that’s for sure. Djokovic can’t play tennis anymore it seems like.

Got to make your own work, please. Respect the players. Obviously Andy is a fantastic player and he’s got all the chances to win here. We all know that.

Well played.

Posted in andy murray, jo-wilfried tsonga, novak djokovic, roger federer, tomas berdych, wimbledon | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »